Navigation Links
Honeybee researcher to unravel properties governing lifespan with support from Norway
Date:3/24/2008

Gro Amdam, associate professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, has been awarded two grants totaling the U.S. equivalent of about $1.4 million from the Norwegian Research Council to investigate biochemical factors and social life history properties that can influence aging and longevity in honeybees. Amdam also is with the Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Norway.

The first study will focus on the molecular properties of honeybee vitellogenin, a protein which, Amdam says, acts at the intersection between social behavior and aging. The second project, to be headed by Amdams postdoctoral fellow Siri-Christine Seehuus in Norway, will examine the genetic and endocrine factors, which may determine longevity in diutinus workers, a specialized sub-caste of honeybees.

In a series of previous studies, Amdam has shown that vitellogenin protein affects aging rate and endocrine signaling in honeybees. In addition, separate studies conducted with Robert Page, director of ASUs School of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, demonstrated that the protein also influences social behavior, longevity and sensory responsiveness.

Generally, vitellogenin is described as a conserved yolk protein found across a broad range of egg-laying species. The functions of proteins homologous to honeybee vitellogenin therefore have been studied primarily in the context of female reproduction, Amdam says. New data from my laboratory suggests, however, that the protein can be active in signal transduction

Amdam hopes to understand more about the structural and binding properties for the honeybee vitellogenin protein through examination of synthesized protein fragments, combined with crystallography and spectroscopy. Her intention is to unlock how the protein can have pleiotropic effects on honey bee social organization which also may open a window onto mechanisms that enabled honey bee social life to emerge.

Amdam and Seehuus will both exploit the plasticity found in honeybee social life history in their work examining the causal basis of the extreme longevity of honeybee diutinus workers (up to 1 year, in contrast to the normal lifespan of about 2 months). While Seehuus will focus on endocrine regulation, Amdam will study the role of a key social factor, the presence versus the absence of young brood.

Since sister honeybees can be both short-lived and extremely long-lived, it is clear that diutinus development within a colony is not determined by genetic predisposition, Amdam notes. Rather, diutinus bees develop as a function of social change when the young brood (honeybee larvae) is removed from the nest. Preliminary results from my lab in Norway point to a major effect on lifespan of pheromones released by the brood. Amdam graduate students have found that exposing the workers to brood phermones alone (using synthetics in the absence of actual brood) prompt the diutinus workers to build up particularly large body reserves of proteins and fats which likely have positive effects on survival.

Next, Amdam will study how the dual effects of brood, that is the physiological load of nursing the larvae and exposure to brood pheromones, translate into levels of individual gene- and protein expression, storage dynamics of tissues, and at the level of behavior, food intake and feeding.

Amdam expects that together the planned studies will unravel patterns of interplay, from molecular- to social mechanisms that can govern lifespan in social species.


'/>"/>

Contact: Margaret Coulombe
margaret.coulombe@asu.edu
480-727-8934
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Haagen-Dazs gift to support Penn State honeybee research
2. UC Davis researchers discover how HIV turns food-poisoning into lethal infection
3. Yerkes researchers identify language feature unique to human brain
4. Stanford researchers developing 3-D camera with 12,616 lenses
5. 19 researchers selected as 2008 Leopold Leadership Fellows
6. Researchers discover how stealthy HIV protein gets into cells
7. Researchers at Stockholm University awarded the Descartes prize
8. Researcher provides tool to enable determination of age of anchovies with greater precision
9. Wisconsin researchers describe how digits grow
10. Antarcticas coldest, darkest season draws Montana State University researchers
11. Researchers discover the structural alphabet of RNA
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/1/2016)... NEW YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Biometric Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to ... According to a recently released TechSci Research report, " ... Sector, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - ... $ 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... May 9, 2016 Elevay is ... to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking ... today,s globally connected world, there is still no substitute ... ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. ... by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the ... future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... sponsorship of the QB3@953 life sciences incubator ... human health. The shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was ... overcome a key obstacle for many early stage organizations ... part of the sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden ...
Breaking Biology Technology: